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4.3.2 Link Working and Family Finding

Please see relevant section of Forms Library to access the required template.


  1. Introduction
  2. Link Worker Procedure

1. Introduction

  1. The role of link working is to enable the successful matching for placements, support and training for foster carers, and liaison with all involved in the placement of the child.
  2. The Linkworker should meet with the Social Worker on an individual basis. The Social Worker will be invited to group meetings and road shows for explanation of the referral process, roles of different people involved, advice on completing the referral form/Child's Permanence Report and arranging medicals (adoption cases only).

2. Link Worker Procedure

  1. On receipt of a referral, a Linkworker will be allocated from the Fostering Service. The designated Social Worker will be asked to complete a detailed referral form or to send the Child's Permanence Report.
  2. Once the referral form/ Child's Permanence Report is completed, the Linkworker will assess the information available and identify any significant issues. The referral will be discussed with the Fostering Service Manager who will endorse the referral and agree that home finding can go ahead for children requiring a foster placement.
  3. In complex case (e.g. older children who have had many moves), consideration will be given to arranging a 'network' meeting to review a child's background and previous placements, in order to accurately establish a child's needs and the characteristics of the family required.
  4. The Linkworker will present a brief summary of the referral to be presented at the next long-term Fostering/Adoption Referral Meeting.
  5. If no suitable family is available from with East Riding resources, the Linkworker will formulate a Family Finding Plan with the child's Social Worker, and where appropriate the child/young person (see the Publicity and Recruitment Procedure). This will include the preparation of a profile of the child to be used for recruitment purposes, including the consideration of specific advertising.
  6. The Linkworker will liaise with colleagues in the team on a regular basis, particularly after group-training sessions are completed, in order to identify prospective carers at an early stage. Consideration can be given to undertaking a 'linked' assessment.
  7. Progress with Family Finding will be monitored by the Fostering Service Manager, and consideration will be given to finding an inter-agency placement in cases where there is no realistic chance of finding a placement within East Riding resources in the foreseeable future, or where the child's needs indicate delay would be particularly damaging, or there are geographical considerations.
  8. The Linkworker will liaise with the Social Worker regarding any potential suitable family. The Linkworker will ensure a full exchange of information takes place prior to any decision being made. This will involve the Social Worker seeing the Form F on the family, and the prospective family being given full information from Referral Form/ Child's Permanence Report (at this stage a copy will not be given to the prospective family) prior to making any commitment. This information will normally be conveyed at a meeting involving the Linkworker, Social Worker and carer. In addition, the prospective carer should have the opportunity to meet the child's present carers (i.e. residential staff, foster carers).
  9. The Linkworker will discuss any potential match with the Fostering Service Manager. If the match is considered appropriate. The Linkworker will set up a planning meeting to discuss arrangements for introduction.